Get Used to the Discomfort

In the last Magic Monday post – “Setting the goals that you love” – I shared my process of finding out what YOU want to achieve. I hope you made time to finish the exercise for yourself.

How did you feel after finishing the goals exercise? Was there any discomfort, confusion or lack of clarity?
Contrary to what I had anticipated when I first did this exercise, the feeling of new discovery or accomplishment was overshadowed by some negative feelings. I am sharing these with you and what I learned or how I overcame those in the hope that you will learn from my mistakes and not sabotage your dreams even before you get started.

  1. I was confused / lost. Finding what you really want is hard! I am still “unsure” about some of those “unsure” goals. I could not define what I really wanted.

    How do you to overcome this?
    Keep on doing this exercise periodically. Don’t sweat over receiving complete clarity in the first attempt. You may take a few attempts but then stop after that. Come back to it a few weeks or even months later to see if you have discovered something new.

    Meanwhile, just be mindful of which “feeling” you desire. This goes back to my very first post. If you discover something new about yourself, don’t be afraid to tweak your goals accordingly.

  2. I felt inadequate. How is it possible for me to achieve a dream this big? I started thinking about all the obstacles even before I got started, and killed any chances of being successful. In other cases, I did not even want to accept a goal out of the fear of failure.

    How do you overcome this?
    Just ask yourself – “If I do take on the challenge, I have 50% chance of getting it. If I don’t start at all, I have 0% chance. Which odds will I take?” When you think of it this way, the right decision becomes clear and rational. Rather than why you cannot do it, start thinking about how you can do it. That’s the game changer.

  3. I remember feeling selfish. When I threw out the goals that I did not care for, but a loved one did, I almost felt that I am doing a disservice to them. I am not giving them what they expect from me. Many women probably will feel this way. And this guilt will be even more accentuated, if you have lived your life for others until now.

    How do you overcome this?
    Understand that feeling complete is an essential state for becoming a truly giving person. You can never feel complete without getting to “feel” your aspirations. Unless you are truly happy from within, you cannot be of any real service to others. You may perform your duties but that does not translate into sustaining happiness in the family and your circle of friends. Then you are just another unhappy, disgruntled, mediocre human being nobody really cares about.

    Becoming your true self, is the only way you can be of value to others.

  4. I felt threatened. Some goals made me realize how much I am “slacking” in life. My lifestyle then was not supporting my aspirations. But that lifestyle was fun. It was not easy to change it. Just the thought of having to make major changes, made me feel threatened that I may actually regret setting these goals.

    How do you to overcome this?
    Take action! This is the only way to find out if the goal is right for you or not. Thinking will not get you anywhere. But some action will earn you quick wins. When you start doing it, you learn more and more about what it is going to take to make it happen. Are you willing to do that? You will also see some tangible results which will motivate you to keep going.

    Case in point here – these Magic Monday posts. I want to be an author. It takes a lot of discipline to write on a regular basis – especially when one keeps as busy as I. I have a LONG commute, a full time job, and regular engagements on a couple of evenings a week. I hardly have time to eat dinners every day! Forget adding extra work. I just kept on contemplating – waiting for designing a good website, waiting for deciding good topics, waiting to find time – waiting, waiting, and waiting.

    Then one day I started doing it. Just did. And now, it has become my new found love. My definition of fun has changed. Writing gives me extra energy to do many other things which I postponed earlier. Now I do not find time, I make time. Your comments every week are my quick wins. I LOVE hearing those. It makes me feel connected and useful. And that is my goal! So just by taking a small action, I have become a happier person.

Did you ever feel this way after setting goals or you feel something else? Share in the comments.

One thing for sure – no matter what you felt, if you still keep your eyes on the prize and work through your doubts, you will come to a point where you understand all these negative feelings are baseless. You deserve all the aspirations that your mind yearns for, and you must pursue such goals with your best effort. It is this faith that keeps you from quitting!

Get used to this self-exploration phase. It will make you ask hard questions, take difficult decisions, and let go of the “normal”. But start doing it one small step at a time.

Thanks to Varun Kakde of Aperture Adventures for the picturesque photo.

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